Although his three goals and five assists in 50 competitive appearances isn’t the most impressive total, it isn’t a reflection of his real impact at the City Ground as a real force down the right-hand side and someone who unlocked many second-tier defences throughout the season.
Appearing as one of the first names on the teamsheet for Steve Cooper’s side, his performances have impressed many and it’s no surprise to see him linked with a move away from the Riverside Stadium.
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However, it’s currently unclear where he will end up with many teams thought to have been keeping tabs on his current situation ahead of a current summer move, though a couple of frontrunners have emerged in the race for his signature.
Bayern Munich are one side that definitely won’t be signing him after deciding to pursue an agreement for Ajax’s Noussair Mazraoui instead – but other teams remain interested in luring him away from Teesside during the upcoming window.
Tottenham Hotspur are one of those sides – and we take a look at what we know about this potential deal thus far and weigh up whether it’s likely to materialise or not.
What do we know so far?
According to the Northern Echo, Spurs are one of the teams in pole position to land the England youth international with the top-tier giants thought to be confident of sealing an agreement with Boro.
This is perhaps no surprise considering manager Antonio Conte has instructed his side’s recruitment team to do whatever they can to seal this deal, with Spence able to slot in nicely to the Italian’s wing-back system.
Already sealing a deal for Ivan Perisic, the north London side are seemingly keen to move early and could add the 21-year-old to their ranks, with rivals Forest already reported to be resigned to losing out to Spurs in this race despite their existing ties with the wing-back.
As per a report from 90min, Steve Cooper’s side were interested in recruiting their former loanee on a permanent basis and were even prepared to break their transfer record to get this deal over the line.
Boro are set to demand more than £15m for his services, a fee that would break their record, though it’s currently unclear whether it’s too late for the East Midlands outfit to pull the race back in their favour.
Is it likely to happen?
It certainly sounds promising from Spurs’ point of view.
Considering the Englishman seemed to love his time at the City Ground, it will be interesting to see if he stalls on contract talks with Conte’s side and he may even turn down a move to the club if he doesn’t receive reassurances regarding his playing time.
At 21, he needs to be playing every week and although this can be guaranteed at Forest, he may not receive the same assurances in the English capital with Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal available as alternatives in this area.
If he moves back to the City Ground though, he won’t have too much competition with Carl Jenkinson surplus to requirements and Mohamed Drager set to be made available for a move away in the summer.
This leaves the rarely-used Richie Laryea and youngster Fin Back as the main competitors in his position, so it may be beneficial for his career if he chooses his former loan side over a more financially lucrative move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs can offer him European football though and the chance for him to ply his trade in the Champions League and/or Europa League may an attractive option for the 21-year-old.
This is one reason why it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this deal go through and as a player that is far more effective as a wing-back than a more defensive full-back, he would be the perfect player for the formation Conte operates with.